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What to Know About Biometric Access Control

biometric access control using fingerprint

Access control is an essential component of comprehensive security for any facility. There are a lot of options available within the category of access control with varying levels of management, technology, etc. The inclusion of biometric data is one of them. Here’s what to know about biometric access control:

What is Biometric Access Control?

Biometric access control refers to an access control system that uses biographical data to grant or deny access to a building or specific area. Instead of a card or code, access is granted or denied based on biological data. Fingerprints, palm veins, facial recognition, retina scans, voice recognition, etc. are all examples of physical traits that can be used in biometric access control.

Also, it can be used as the only form of access control or can be layered on top of other systems to allow for an additional step or layer of security for extra protection and authorization. Whatever biometrics you are using are stored in a database and when a scanner is used, the biological data is compared to the database; if there is a match in the database, access is granted, and if there is no match, access is denied.

4 Benefits of Biometric Access Control

In addition to the benefits of access control systems, these are a few of the biggest benefits specific to biometric access control:

1. Biometric Access Control Provides a Higher Level of Security

Although you can manage keycard and code access with an access control system, there is still a risk associated with codes that are guessed or stolen or keycards that are lost or stolen. With these items, there is often a lag between the risk of a potential security breach and when the database is updated to address that risk.

With biometric access control, there is a higher level of security and more layers of protection. The risk may not be zero, but the effort, skill, etc. needed to “steal” or copy biological data is far more specialized than cards, codes, keys, etc. Biological data is significantly harder to replicate, which is why the risk of a security breach with biometrics is far lower than standard access control measures.

2. It Usually Provides More Efficient Access Control Management

Because codes and keycards are easier to forget or lose, there is often more database management involved with standard access control when compared to biometric access control. You will likely need to adjust, delete, and regenerate more codes and keycards in a year than you will profiles of biological data.

Biological data isn’t something authorized personnel forget. It’s inherent to them and is always with them. Authorized users don’t need to carry anything to get the access they need; they just need themselves. Because of this, the level of management is not zero, but it is much lower than other options.

3. Biometric Access Control has the Potential for Less Maintenance and Repairs Needed Over Time

Regular maintenance of physical components is one of the most important best practices for managing and maintaining security systems. With that in mind, you may have to do less maintenance and repairs on biometric scanners. Over time, frequent use of keypads can wear down numbers and become a security risk until they are replaced.

Plus, heavy use may mean replacing components more often. With some forms of biometric control, the scanners require less touch and have fewer exterior physical components that wear out due to being touched during use.

4. It’s Usually Faster

Biometric access control is also usually faster than traditional access control. Biometric IDs are physical traits, so there is nothing extra to carry around. Because of this, there is no need to fish out a card or pause to input a code to gain entry.

In addition, most biometric scanners and systems identify users faster than traditional access control systems. Even if it is only seconds faster, this efficiency only compounds with the number of people who need to enter and the frequency with which they do. Biometric access control often eliminates delays common to manual processes and checks.

These are just a few basics to know about biometric access control. If you’re interested in biometric access control for your facility or improving building security in other ways, contact NEPPS at 800-736-1456 to schedule a free site assessment!